Distributors Wanted
Contact us today!
Learn More >>
Menu
Guard the Light
Written by
Illustrated by
Price:
$0.00

Sequential Art - Kids | Manhattan Book Review

Lightfall: the Girl and the Galdurian by Tim Probert

Summary

Bea’s morning starts out like any other – breakfast with her forgetful grandfather and a trip into the woods for potion supplies. But when she meets Cad, a Galdurian who thinks her grandfather can help him find his people, everything turns upside-down. Now Bea’s grandfather is missing and she’s forced into a long journey to find him and escape whatever wants to steal her light.

Review

This book is absolutely vibrant – both literally and metaphorically. The illustration is gorgeous and wonderfully expressive. It’s always just as important to “read” the pictures as the words, but that’s especially true for this book. Each image fits the mood of the scene exactly through both the characters and their surroundings. One illustrative element I particularly appreciated was how Bea’s anxiety was portrayed. It can be difficult to show certain mannerisms in graphic novels. After all, characters can’t be animated like in a movie and descriptions can’t be used like in a non-illustrative book. There’s a specific image that the illustrator used each time Bea began feeling nervous, whether it was only for a moment or it spiraled into something more. It really added an interesting aspect that helps the reader to understand Bea’s character better.

The characters in Lightfall: the Girl and the Galdurian all fit perfectly together. Each pair serves as a balancing force for one another, which is truly impressive. Bea acts as her grandfather’s rock, someone to remind him of what he’s forgetting and keep him on track when he’s confused. Cad, in turn, helps to calm Bea’s anxiety while simultaneously pushing her to go beyond her comfort zone. Even the minor characters serve as both foils to the main characters. Every aspect of this book is beautifully balanced. By the end, I’m sure you’ll be as eager to get your hand on the next book as I am.

Yours in love and literature, Page.

Content warning(s): danger, violence

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram (@page.turner.omnibus) to see what I’ll be reviewing next!

Always on the Outside
Written by
Illustrated by
Price:
$0.00

Amazon.com: The Outsiders eBook: Hinton, S. E.: Kindle Store

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Summary

Life is hard, especially for greasers like Ponyboy and his friends. They can hold their own against the Socs – rich kids from the other side of town – and know they can count on each other to be there when it counts. But one thing leads to another, and suddenly things have been done that can’t be taken back.

Review

The Outsiders, as some of you might know, was the first book that ever made me cry. There was something about how raw and intense every aspect of it is that had me absolutely bawling by the end. Everything Ponyboy goes through might make it difficult for readers to remember that he’s only fourteen, the openness of his narration serves as a heavy reminder. It’s far from innocent, yet has the air of someone who’s both seen too much and not enough. Ponyboy’s introspective style leads to contemplations of the world’s injustices within the context of his own limited experience.

Part of the emotional charge of The Outsiders comes from just how realistic it is. The greasers and the Socs live in this very judgemental world where there’s contention even within social groups. At times it becomes very easy to see how characters are united almost solely through economic circumstance. At others, the characters become their own found family. The Outsiders is a wonderful examination of the greyness of the world and how one small incident can change a life forever.

Yours in love and literature, Page.

Content warning(s): violence, su*c*de, death, alcohol, cigarettes, smoking, drugs, abuse, weapons, referenced s*xual content, minor swearing

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram (@page.turner.omnibus) to see what I’ll be reviewing next!

Grief is a Heavy Thing
Written by
Illustrated by
Price:
$0.00

Cover Reveal: Right As Rain by Lindsey Stoddard - A Fuse ...

Right as Rain by Lindsey Stoddard

Summary

Rain and her family are moving to New York. Her mom says it’s time for a fresh start, and even though it means that Rain will have to start a new school just a few weeks before summer, she agrees. The anniversary of her brother’s death is coming up, after all, and still no one knows her secret about what happened that night.

Review

Right as Rain is an absolutely heartbreaking story. There’s a heavy undercurrent of grief throughout, especially as Rain reveals what happened on the night of her brother’s death in increments. It really encapsulates the fact that it takes time to heal from grief and the confusion that comes with thinking you should have everything figured out. As a logical character, Rain wrestles with the fear of what will happen to her family without her brother. In a new city with fighting parents and missing her old life, she doesn’t always know what to do. Her life, suddenly, is full of changes.

Even with all of the sadness and grief, there’s a thread of hope and determination that keeps the story afloat. Rain makes new friends, finds places where she feels she fits, and branches out from her old life to a new one. Though her family’s move was motivated almost entirely by pain, she finds ways to make it a bit more positive. The changes in her life both distract her from and help her with her pain. As she fights grief and guilt, she finds new people and things who she can fight for, not against. Right as Rain takes painful topics and pushes them towards hope. If you’re looking for a good cry with themes that will stick with you, this is definitely the book for you.

Yours in love and literature, Page.

Content warning(s): referenced death

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram (@page.turner.omnibus) to see what I’ll be reviewing next!

Post-Fame and Misfortune
Written by
Illustrated by
Price:
$0.00

Girls in the Moon - BookOutlet.com

Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally

Summary

Everyone in Phoebe’s family is or has been famous – her mother, former singer-songwriter for the band Shelter, her absent rock star father, and her sister, who’s following closer in their mother’s footsteps than she’d like to admit. When Phoebe visits her sister and her band in New York, she may be forced to face more of her family’s past and present than she’s ready for.

Review

I’m absolutely in love with the way this book is written. The style very much fits the themes of the book itself. At times it becomes lyrical, bordering on purple prose, showing the beauty and glamour even in everyday things. Others, it’s harshly straightforward, mirroring the difficulties that come with a life of fame. Since the book is written from Phoebe’s perspective, it becomes a subtle way of showcasing her talent with words, even if she doesn’t really see it. In a way, it mirrors her uncertainty about herself and her family’s world that she feels so left out of.

I was also impressed with how much Phoebe’s mother was involved in the story, even if she wasn’t actually present for most of it. She and her past are incredibly influential in everything Phoebe and her sister do. Phoebe’s sister rebels by doing exactly what she did, down to taking time away from school to promote the band she started with her boyfriend. Phoebe wants answers her mother refuses to provide, so she looks everywhere and anywhere to find them. Both of them find their mother in their surroundings and each other. Every plot point is connected by the sisters’ desire to understand their parents and one another. Overall, Girls in the Moon wonderfully shows the complexities of family, fame, and a past that can’t be hidden. After all, what is life without complexity?

Yours in love and literature, Page.

Content warning(s): swearing, brief fatphobia, unplanned pregnancy, smoking, underage drinking, drug abuse mention

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram (@page.turner.omnibus) to see what I’ll be reviewing next!

Everyone is After Him
Written by
Illustrated by
Price:
$0.00

Dragonborn by Toby Forward - Book - Read OnlineDragonborn by Toby Forward

Summary

Sam is only halfway through his apprenticeship when his master, Flaxfield, dies. He needs to finish learning magic, but not from Flaxfield’s intimidating past apprentices, so he sets off to find a new teacher. Little does he know how strong his power is, or what others will do to get ahold of it.

Review

The premise of Dragonborn is quite an interesting one. It focuses on several characters throughout the course of the book, allowing readers a wider view of the world in which the story takes place and the depth of the situation Sam has gotten himself into, albeit unintentionally. Though Sam is involved in a large conflict, the scope of which isn’t even fully explained in this book, he’s very clearly characterized as a child. Rather than making him an intentionally influential figure, it shows how a person can get caught up in something without even trying, and what that can mean for them, especially as a child.

The execution of this story is one I struggled with quite a bit. The point of view changes far too frequently for my liking. It’s a bit difficult to keep track of whose point of view the story is coming from, especially at the beginning of the book. As the story progresses and becomes more convoluted, the switches become less frequent but no less confusing. The flow overall was lacking and made it hard to understand the plot. I hope that the following books are better paced and provide more explaination on the major conflict, otherwise I am rather disappointed.

Yours in love and literature, Page.

Content warning(s): death, torture, violence

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram (@page.turner.omnibus) to see what I’ll be reviewing next!

They Won’t Be Silenced
Written by
Illustrated by
Price:
$0.00

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Summary

Living in Portland, a city with a slim number of Black people, might have been difficult enough. But for Tavia, a siren fighting to hide her nature, and Effie, a girl struggling to escape the aftermath of a bizarre playground incident, life is extra hard. When a siren murder trial shakes the nation and Effie’s past begins to truly haunt her, their lives may be changed forever.

Review

A world like ours where sirens, elokos, and gargoyles exist may seem amazing and magical. But A Song Below Water looks deeper – would it really be so wonderful? Taken within the context of today’s world, where racism, sexism, and prejudice are still incredibly prevalent, giving some people superhuman power may not be as amazing as it seems. Especially when those people are Black girls and women.

I promise you aren’t ready for this book, certainly not if you’re white. Don’t expect it to even come close to shying away from topics like police brutality or the silencing of Black women who fight to be heard. It literally left me breathless. There are some things that I as a white person will never really understand, but I’m a firm believer in the ability of books to show readers perspectives they may have never considered before. I sincerely hope that you will read this book and take something important  away from it.

Yours in love and literature, Page.

Content warning(s): police brutality, racism, violence, past self-harm/suicide attempt

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram (@page.turner.omnibus) to see what I’ll be reviewing next!

Growing Up
Written by
Illustrated by
Price:
$0.00

brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson | BookDragon

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Summary

A memoir of the author’s childhood that details her life, loves, and losses. Brown Girl Dreaming tells the story of an America young readers will never truly know and a girl trying to find her place in it.

Review

Brown Girl Dreaming is a powerful story that is both similar to and different from many children’s coming-of-age books. Of course, this is in part because it is a memoir – but it also contains elements that most of these books lack. Having a Black protagonist is one of these elements. It’s nice to read a story about a Black girl growing up whose main struggle isn’t with racism. Instead, Woodson writes of her struggle to find a home in both her northern home and her grandparents’ in the south. She tells of the comparisons made between her and her siblings, the gentle urging for her to find a passion other than writing, the relationship she builds with religion. Every poem is incredibly raw and real.

I think it’s important that young readers experience books like this. The way civil rights history is taught in schools makes it seem like it was ages ago. However, reading books by authors who lived through those events and are still living shows how recent this history truly is. Brown Girl Dreaming shows an America that is both similar and different to the one we live in now. Reading this book was truly impactful. I would recommend that every young reader experiences it to bring some perspective to their perception of history.

Yours in love and literature, Page.

Content warning(s): prison, racism, death, illness

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram (@page.turner.omnibus) to see what I’ll be reviewing next!

Magic Isn’t Dead
Written by
Illustrated by
Price:
$0.00

March YA Picks | Lee Memorial Library

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Summary

Ever since the Raid, magic has been as good as gone in Orïsha. Divîners like Zélie, once able to become powerful maji, are heavily taxed and targeted by a ruthless king determined to destroy all magic. A chance encounter in the city, though, may be the key to restoring magic to Orïsha for good.

Review

Children of Blood and Bone is an emotional rollercoaster. From fear to sadness to anger to joy – I don’t think I’ve ever gone through so many emotions in such a short time because of a book before. I had to take a few breathers, let me just tell you. Every twist and turn is so well executed and heart-wrenchingly real. It doesn’t shy away from how far a terrified tyrant king can go, especially when he’s convinced everyone that he’s right to fear magic. Especially when some of those people are the very ones whose power he fears.

I loved every aspect of Children of Blood and Bone – love so forbidden the lovers themselves fear it, siblings warring against each other, their parents, and their own hearts, a king whose abuse will cost him everything. Every relationship is complex and rich and full of potential. Each moment is perfectly poised at the cusp of everything going awry. This book is an absolute masterpiece. It had me hooked from the very start to the final word. If you’ve never read it, trust me when I say you’re missing out.

Yours in love and literature, Page.

Content warning(s): death, violence, genocide, torture, sexual harassment, implied sexual content

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram (@page.turner.omnibus) to see what I’ll be reviewing next!

Double Life, Double Problems
Written by
Illustrated by
Price:
$0.00

Miles Morales: Spider-Man

Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds

Summary

Miles Morales has a lot on his plate. Between school, a crush, and being a superhero, he’s pretty full up on things to worry about. But when a glitchy superpower and a sketchy history teacher get him in trouble at school, Miles has to worry about strange nightmares and newfound concerns about what his family’s past means for him. And above all, Miles has to set things right – before he gets too caught up in his own head.

Review

At the risk of sounding too much like an English teacher, I really loved the theme of struggling against the past in Miles Morales: Spider-Man. This book really shows how every character’s struggle with moving beyond the events in the past drove the events of the present. Miles’s fear of becoming like his father and uncle once were paralyzes him, forcing him to evaluate his every move time and time again, hoping that he’s truly doing the right thing. Miles’s father’s past motivates him to watch out for Miles as himself and as Spider-Man in order to protect him. His history teacher glorifies slavery, which drives his blatant racism and the way he treats Miles and his classmates. All of them have to face the past in one way or another, then accept it in order to move into the present.

Through all of this, I love that Miles remains a high school kid. Sure, he may be facing school troubles that are a little more supernatural than usual, but he’s still just a teenager. He’s almost as worried about confessing to his crush as he is about the problems Spider-Man faces in the city. He’s as human as he is a superhero – which makes him all the more real.

Yours in love and literature, Page.

Content warning(s): racism, glorification of slavery, violence, death

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram (@page.turner.omnibus) to see what I’ll be reviewing next!

Memories Are Everything
Written by
Illustrated by
Price:
$0.00

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

Summary

In Craewick, memories mean power ever since the power-hungry Madame became its ruler. Silent wars are waged between the defenseless Ungifted and the Gifted, those who can steal memories with a touch. When Etta Lark’s comatose mother is set to be auctioned – a process by which Madame steals a person’s memories and sells them to the highest bidder before killing them – she’ll do everything she can to save her. Even if that means facing the horrors of her past.

Review

*warning: spoilers in paragraph 2!*

The Memory Thief seems to have it all – love, loss, heartbreak, hope – all within a compelling narrative that really makes the reader contemplate the importance of their own memories. I’ve seen the concept of reading mind and memories before, even that of taking them, but never one where they’re traded as currency. The story is so rich in considering what morals and structures might prevail when one’s own mind is free to be read and manipulated. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep readers engaged, and I really must commend the author for taking typical fantasy YA narratives and making them her own.

I think that really satisfied me about this book was the way the endings was handled. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much prolonged hope in many YA books. Even if the villain is defeated, there tends to be a threat that they or others like them will return. I have seen many instances of a villain being killed only to mess up the hero by making a threatening remark moments before death. This book has none of that. Not only is Madame left alive, albeit to suffer, she no longer holds anything over Etta. She is truly defeated. This way, Etta and the others are allowed to leave her and her memory behind. Especially now, I think this an element that many people need in books; something that tells us it is possible to truly win and begin healing.

Yours in love and literature, Page.

Content warning(s): death, torture, violence

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram (@page.turner.omnibus) to see what I’ll be reviewing next!